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Mastering the Indoor Brick Session

For anyone taking on multi-sport, be it duathlon, triathlon, etc., the brick session is a key workout to get you ready for race day. Whether it’s to get used to transitions and make them a slick and quick as possible, or simply to learn the feeling of running on tired legs, the bike-run brick is an excellent tool. 

However, doing a brick session outdoors may not always be practical – you need to have a setup where you can safely store your bike after your ride, but that allows you to do so quickly! This is where an indoor setup can come in so useful, as well as keeping more control on your pacing, adding in any intervals you might want to incorporate, getting used to your race-day cycling position, and having water and fuel nearby to test or practice nutrition. In fact, you can even use a turbo/treadmill combination to race these days, with Zwift duathlons and the like.

So, with the benefits in mind, let’s delve into how you can use your kit to the max for an indoor brick session…

Turbo & Treadmill Positioning

If you’re using a fixed bike (not your real bike on a turbo), try to mimic the setup of your riding position as closely as possible by taking some measurements from key elements (seat position, angle, handlebar height and distance, etc.).

If possible, have both your bike and treadmill facing the same way – that way you can hop off of one and onto the other more quickly.

Calibrate your treadmill to ensure it’s running smoothly and as closely as possible to outdoor running conditions. It is common for treadmills to have a minimum incline above 0% to help simulate the energy cost of running outdoors, for example.

Technical Setup

If you’re using Zwift, make sure you have your devices charged and ready to connect. You could have two different devices, one for the bike and one for the treadmill, or you can use the same device and switch between connections when you’ve finished the bike and move on to the treadmill. Hitting the highlighted button takes you to the paired devices screen, which allows you to then switch between “ride” and “run”, and choose your tech.

However, the new E10i treadmill may just have made brick sessions even cooler… with the ability to download apps directly to the treadmill, you can follow these steps to have a big screen setup for less hassle:

  1. Install the Zwift app on your Noble Pro Treadmill
  2. Screencast to a secondary device/screen/monitor
  3. Connect to your turbo/static bike in “Ride” mode
  4. Finish your ride, change into your run shoes and hop on the treadmill
  5. Save your ride, tap to go to Paired Devices and select “Run”
  6. Pair to your treadmill and go!

All while using the same big screen and no extra devices or chargers to think about! It will definitely be the way forward for me whenever I’m able to upgrade.

Workout Specifics

  • Set yourself specific time or distance goals, depending on your race or training requirements. E.g., a 50-minute cycle and a 20-minute run.
  • If you want to programme some intervals, you can use the Zwift workout builder for your ride (and pair this up with your kit if you have a controllable device!), and you can use Kinni to programme your run to control your treadmill.
  • Incorporate hills, sprints, etc. to challenge yourself or to simulate race conditions.
  • Use the opportunity of training indoors to focus on things you might not get to concentrate on when outdoors – such as form, breathing, or cadence.

Transition Specifics

  • Prepare your running shoes in advance, utilising elastic laces if you want to!
  • Use the bike and treadmill bottle holders to keep plenty of fluids at hand and lay out any nutrition you might need in advance so you can practice fuelling.
  • Practice mounting and dismounting the bike quickly and safely.
  • Keep some space near the treadmill where you can lay your kit out, like you would on race day. And keep a towel nearby to minimise sweat dripping on to your tech!
  • Practice loosening your cycling shoes while coasting, if you plan to leave them on the bike.

Now it’s your turn…

Now you know that indoor brick sessions can be a fund and convenient way to train and even race, and you have some practical tips to get you there, will you try a turbo to treadmill brick? These were one of my favourite sessions to do when I was training for Ironman Gdynia – the pain cave became my pain haven! If you do use any of these tips, or try your first brick session, let me know via social media, it would be great to chat.

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